FAQ

Materials

What materials are accepted in MMBC’s packaging and printed paper recycling program?

As the MMBC program rolls out to 88 communities between May and September, many BC residents can now recycle types of packaging that are not commonly included in current curbside, multi-family and depot collection programs, including milk cartons, plant pots, aluminum foil packaging, foam containers and packaging, certain types of plastic film packaging and drink cups.

See what packaging and printed paper is accepted and what isn’t accepted in MMBC’s packaging and printed paper recycling program.

Why isn’t foam packaging collected at curbside? Why do I need to take it to a depot?

When foam containers and cushion packaging are collected with other recyclables, they can break into pieces that mix with other materials. The pieces are difficult to separate, meaning that less of the foam, and less of the other material, is recycled. You can ensure that foam packaging including foam cushion packaging for products like electronics and foam trays and cups are recycled by taking them to an MMBC depot.

MMBC’s list of depots is available here: http://recyclinginbc.ca/mmbc-depots/

Please note, foam packing chips (also called peanuts) and noodles, and blue or pink foam board insulation are not accepted for recycling.

Why isn’t plastic film collected at curbside? Why do I need to take it to a depot?

When plastic film is collected with other material, it is difficult to separate, meaning that less of the plastic film, and less of the other material, is recycled. You can ensure that plastic film packaging is recycled by taking it to a depot. Ensure bags are empty by removing receipts, leftover food, etc. Stuff bags inside another bag and tie top.

A list of MMBC’s depots is available here.

Please note, plastic shrink or stretch wrap, crinkly cellophane wrap, zipper-lock bags, plastic shipping envelopes, compostable or biodegradable plastic bags, multi-layer or laminated film, bubble wrap, and lumber wrap are not accepted for recycling.

Why am I required to take glass to a depot?

Deposit glass containers should be delivered to depots for refund. In some municipalities, non-deposit glass containers are collected at curbside and from multi-family buildings, where they are separated from other recyclables. Otherwise, glass containers should be taken to MMBC depots. Check with your recycling collection provider.

MMBC asks for glass to be separated from other recyclables because glass can easily break during collection. When broken glass mixes with paper and other containers it becomes difficult to properly recycle these materials, meaning that less glass—and less of the other material—is recycled. Broken glass is also a safety hazard.

Why isn’t everything collected for recycling?

While many types of packaging and printed paper can be recycled and will be included in MMBC’s packaging and printed paper recycling program, some materials need to be kept separate from others in order to be recycled, and some materials are not accepted. See what packaging and printed paper is accepted and what isn’t accepted in MMBC’s packaging and printed paper recycling program.

Foam packaging and plastic film: Some materials, like foam packaging and plastic film, are difficult to sort from other recyclable materials, which is why MMBC asks that they be kept separate from other recyclables and taken to MMBC depots.

Glass: Deposit glass containers should be delivered to ReturnIt depots for refund. Non-deposit glass containers are collected at curbside and from multi-family buildings in some areas, where they are separated from other recyclables. Otherwise, residents can take glass containers to MMBC depots. Check with your recycling collection provider.

Other packaging not included in the MMBC recycling program: Most packaging is included in MMBC’s recycling program; however there are no recycling markets yet for a few types of packaging. MMBC will work with manufacturers and recyclers to explore how to recycle these types of packaging so that they can be added to MMBC’s program in the future.

Other materials: Items collected in other extended producer responsibility programs like deposit containers, hazardous household waste, batteries, and electronics, and other household waste such as garden hoses or food scraps, are not accepted for recycling in MMBC’s program.

Check RCBC’s Recyclepedia to find out how to recycle or properly dispose of these materials.

What is “overwrap”?

Overwrap is the plastic packaging around things like flats of pop, diapers, paper towels, etc.

What does “aseptic” mean?

Aseptic packaging is used to store long-life foods like milk, milk-type beverages, cream, soup, broth, and sauces on a shelf, rather than in the refrigerated aisle.

MMBC Recycling Program

Why is the recycling system changing?

In 2011, the Government of British Columbia updated the Recycling Regulation to require that the companies that introduce packaging and printed paper into the residential marketplace assume responsibility for managing these materials after residents discard them. This is called extended producer responsibility and it involves collecting and diverting packaging and printed paper from disposal..

What is MMBC?

Businesses that supply packaging and printed paper to BC residents will now be responsible for collecting and recycling these materials. Multi-Material British Columbia (MMBC), a non-profit organization funded by these businesses, will use its members’ fees to finance residential recycling programs in many areas across BC, either directly or by working with local governments, First Nations, private companies and other non-profit organizations.

Through MMBC’s packaging and printed paper recycling program, many BC residents will be able to recycle types of packaging that are not commonly included in current curbside, multi-family and depot collection programs, including milk cartons, plant pots, aluminum foil packaging, foam containers and packaging, certain types of plastic film packaging and drink cups.

MMBC is among more than 20 Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs introduced in BC over the past two decades. Through these programs, industry is responsible for end-of-life management of items such as beverage containers, electronics, paint, used oil, tires and batteries. EPR is a way for businesses to manage the environmental impact of products during all stages of the product lifecycle, from selecting the materials used in production to collection and recycling when a product is no longer useful.

Will this new recycling program affect me?

In many communities, the municipal government will continue to provide recycling services to residents, with support from MMBC. Participating in MMBC’s program means that residents will be able to recycle more materials. Visit your municipal government website for more information.

MMBC currently provides curbside collection service in three communities: Regional District of North Okanagan; Regional District of Central Kootenay Areas H, I, J; and Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, East Sub-region. Residents in those communities should have received new recycling guides.

MMBC will provide curbside collection service in other BC communities later this year, including Coquitlam (starting July 1), Anmore (starting August 1), Quesnel (starting September 1), Prince George (starting September 1), and University Endowment Lands (starting September 1). Residents in these communities should watch for more information closer to their launch date.

What if I haven’t received my new recycling guide?

Delivery dates will vary in each community that MMBC is serving directly.

When does MMBC’s program start?

MMBC’s program started May 19 in many BC communities, with either the municipal government providing recycling services to residents, with support from MMBC, or MMBC providing curbside collection service directly.

MMBC currently provides curbside collection service in three communities: Regional District of North Okanagan; Regional District of Central Kootenay Areas H, I, J; and Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, East Sub-region. Residents in those communities should have received new recycling guides.

MMBC will provide curbside collection service in other BC communities later this year, including Coquitlam (starting July 1), Anmore (starting August 1), Quesnel (starting September 1), Prince George (starting September 1), and University Endowment Lands (starting September 1). Residents in these communities should watch for more information closer to their launch date.

What happened on May 19?

On May 19, 2014, MMBC assumed responsibility for managing residential packaging and printed paper recycling on behalf of the its members—the businesses that supply the material to be recycled.

In many areas, local governments will continue to provide collection services and residents will be able to recycle types of packaging that are not commonly accepted in current curbside, multi-family and depot recycling programs, such as milk cartons, plant pots, aluminum foil packaging, drink cups, certain types of plastic film packaging and foam polystyrene. See what packaging and printed paper is accepted and what isn’t accepted in MMBC’s packaging and printed paper recycling program.

In areas where MMBC directly assumes responsibility for providing residential packaging and printed paper collection services, residents may see changes to their collection schedule or how they set out their recycling for collection. Information for residents of:

Starting May 19, 2014

Starting July 1, 2014

Starting August 1, 2014

Starting September 1, 2014

Who do I contact for more info about my recycling collection?

Please check with your municipal government about recycling services in your area.

Will I need a new recycling box?

Please check with your municipal government about recycling services in your area.